Preheat oven to 300 F to 325 F.
Lightly grease sides and bottom of three 6 x 3 x 2 loaf pans with shortening and line with parchment paper or brown baking paper. Set aside.
In a non-reactive bowl, combine dried fruits, nuts, and the 1/2 cup brandy. Soak overnight.
In another bowl, combine margarine, sugar, syrup, eggs, orange concentrate, molasses, and 2 tablespoons brandy. With an electric mixer, beat until well blended.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Beat until well-blended.
Add 1/2 the fruit and nut mixture and stir to combine.
Pour batter in prepared loaf pans. Spoon the remaining half of the fruit and nut mixture over the batter. Decorate with glazed cherries.
Place batter-filled pans in the preheated oven. Place a separate pan of water in the oven either on a rack underneath the fruitcake.
Bake at 300 F to 325 F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven, place on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Carefully lift the fruitcakes from baking pans and let cool completely.
Brush all sides with brandy or rum.
Wrap with heavy-duty aluminum foil and store at room temperature in a styrofoam box or tin can.
Brush fruitcake with brandy every week for four weeks, then every two weeks.